The Open Water Grave By Gerry Rodrigues
He made recommendations to the triathlon governing body, coaches and athletes about participating in triathlons and establishing temperature collars (minimum and maximum water temperatures that triathlon can be held).
Coach Rodrigues introduces his viewpoint here:
…Unfortunately, a participant passed away [at the Alcatraz Triathlon]; yet another triathlon related swim death. The water temp was 51-52ºF (10.5-11.1ºC) according to race officials, however, it is purported at actually being 49ºF (9.4ºF) according to various other sources. It’s finally time for me as coach, former open water athlete, and a recognized leader in open water to take a position. In my 31 years of coaching triathletes and 41 years of open water experience, this is my first stand, and it’s an important one. I have authored the following piece on our blog, titled The Open Water Grave.
What we find refreshing is that this opinion and the collective voices of the triathlon community are being heard and considered by its national governing body.
The fundamental issue is not if SOMEONE can swim safely in 49ºF (9.4ºF); this fact we know is true. Rather, the issue is whether EVERYONE can swim safely in these exceedingly low temperatures – or their opposite high temperatures?
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor – Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), USA Swimming’s Glen S. Hummer Award (2007, 2010) and Harvard University’s John B. Imrie Award (1984). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.